Dumb Luck in Winterville

We sat here yesterday evening, by the shore of St. Froid Lake in Winterville, Maine, reading and watching Claire play in the leaves. We found a campground by the lake with electric and water hookups and just enough of a Verizon NationalAccess wireless signal to connect at modest speeds to the internet.

Simple dumb luck kept us from a serious accident as I was turning off Route 11. I was trying to read the sign for the campground, deciding whether it was a likely place to stop, checking the rearview mirrors for following traffic, and trying to swing the Southwind left onto the gravel road. The one thing I didn’t have enough bandwidth for was the oncoming traffic. I simply forgot there was another lane, until Darlene let out a mild exclamation when I turned. She thought I was just cutting it a little close in relation to a car coming, but in reality I had no idea what was in the other lane, because I hadn’t even looked. It left us both shaken, and I’m still spooked about it.

The incident makes the utter peacefulness of this campground poignant and rather precious. I like to think it will make me a safer driver for the rest of the trip. It also makes me feel sheepish for the times I criticize my parents for their driving lapses, as if such lapses are proof that it’s time to get off the road permanently. Who knows? On any give day, on any given journey, dumb luck protects us all.

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